Euro firms after Greece passes bailout reforms

[TOKYO] The euro traded higher against the dollar and the yen on Thursday as Greece's parliament passed legislation on reforms crucial to securing bailout funds from its creditors.

In Tokyo, the single currency fetched US$1.0944 and 135.77 yen, up from US$1.0926 and 135.44 yen in New York late Wednesday.

The reforms bill won the support of more than 200 lawmakers - a clear majority - as voting continued in the 300-seat parliament.

The vote is a key test of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' authority after he suffered a major rebellion in his leftist Syriza party at last week's vote on a first tranche of tough reforms demanded by Athens' creditors.

In other trading the dollar firmed to 124.06 yen from 123.96 yen after upbeat US homes data offered hope for the world's top economy, and boosts the chances the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates soon.

Sales of existing homes in the United States surged in June to their highest level in more than eight years and prices hit a record high, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

"It's not determined yet whether the US rate hikes will be in September or December, but the housing data strengthens the case for a September hike a little," Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management, told Bloomberg News.

The Canadian dollar rebounded slightly after it hit a 10-year low against the US dollar. The greenback traded at CAN$1.3035 in Asia Thursday after briefly going as high in US trade as CAN$1.3047, a level last seen in 2004, as Canada's economy is hurt by the plunge in oil prices.


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